Why german engineers should have lessons from Japan

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by Enduro10, Sep 10, 2014.

  1. Enduro10

    Enduro10 Been here awhile

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    Yesterday I spent almost 3 hours to change the spark plugs in my F800GS ADV.
    I had to disassemble all the plastics from the front beak 'till the seat. ALL of them. Then I had to remove the entire air filter plastic box, including detach 3 hoses that are very tight installed and the battery. Need small hands / fingers. Then you reach the plugs. Counted 30 bolts - including the 6 from the fairing.
    Many plastic parts that compose the beak and side shrouds are longer and thin. Don't even think in twist or bend them. Big and costly mistake.
    I had a G650GS and never understood why so many bolts to change the air filter, for example. Now I miss her...
    I'll write a letter to BMW headquarter in Germany and suggest them to spend some money and send their engineers to have a design course in Japan with any of the big 4 to learn how to build a ligth and an easy maintenance motorcycle.
    And more, when you strip all that plastic you can discover a thin bike under that bulky plastic shroud that only mimics an ADV bike like the 1200GS.
    The bike has way too much bolts and small metal parts that are used to hold relays, wires and so on.
    What a waste of materials and fuel...
    #1
  2. 1994klr250

    1994klr250 Long timer

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    How many miles do you already have on your 2014 f800gs adv? Was it already due for spark plug replacement? :huh. I didn't replace mine until well over 20k miles, even then they where barely worn. I didn't find it all that difficult of a process. If you want to speed up the process of removing screw use a small cordless drill. I work on airplanes for a living so if you think it was bad removing the panels just imagine having to remove hundreds of screws from a leading edge of a wing, just to change a sensor that takes 2 minutes. :lol3
    #2
  3. Jimo368

    Jimo368 Quantum Mechanic

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    Japan is just as guilty, try changing the air filter in a Goldwing.
    #3
  4. SubAtomicGenius

    SubAtomicGenius Moto Villian

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    Any bike with a significant amount of plastics is difficult to do work on. Nature of the beast. As said, a cordless drill makes short work of the task. I suppose you could modify with quick release pins of some sort.. . Or just go naked.
    #4
  5. windypoint

    windypoint Been here awhile

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    I don't think that any of the engineers that design the new BMW's ride or work on them. They can't possibly design the current bike and look a mechanic in the face without cowering.
    #5
  6. Enduro10

    Enduro10 Been here awhile

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    The bike has 7,000 Km
    I installed Iridium plugs
    #6
  7. Hamish71

    Hamish71 Been here awhile

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    Takes about 10-15mins to get to the plugs...unless you were drinking BUCKETS of beer.

    Remove seat, "tank" cover off (6 screws), undo the back three or so bolts on the side covers/shrouds (6 screws). Take the battery out (4 screws), disconnect hoses from airbox, and electrical connectors. The side shrouds will move enough at the rear to allow the airbox out.

    16 screws. 2 more if you decide to remove the airfilter first.

    Change plugs, reverse.

    30mins tops, less if you use a powered driver.....probably a little more on the side of the trail after a proper drowning.

    Anyone who crosses rivers would benefit from practising this before hitting the trails.

    The easier you think it is, the more likely you are going to do what is right, rather than risking starting it with a cylinder full of water.
    #7
  8. Traumat1x

    Traumat1x Been here awhile

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    Vstrom 650 is not too much better. 2 of the spark plugs are quite easy, the other two, the tank has to come off, and the radiator moved forward etc.
    #8
  9. travelR6

    travelR6 Been here awhile

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    then never buy a R6 :p

    Gesendet von meinem GT-I9300 mit Tapatalk 2
    #9
  10. 9Realms

    9Realms Drawn in by the complex plot

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    Hey, I'll be different and actually agree with you.

    :D
    #10
  11. ta-rider

    ta-rider Returned from Africa

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    #11
  12. NONAME13

    NONAME13 NONAME13

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    Wait till you do the valves .BMW BS however the iridium plugs do make a difference it's hard to believe the previous owner of a 650CS gave me his bike with 77000km because it had stalling issues made the switch to iridium and a quality battery it ran like a top. Husky dealers can do the valves if your not comfortable and it's way cheaper when you strip the bike before you bring it in . Advantage of any non boxer GS is other shops can work on them you don't have to deal with a BMW dealer or wait in line behind a pile of broken Beemers waiting for repair.
    #12
  13. PFFOG

    PFFOG Richard Alps-aholic Supporter

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    They were Japanese engineers, the ones that designed the CBR600F3, almost impossible to get to the middle 2 plugs, plus below 45 degrees, take the car, they will not start! Don't even try to take the carbs off.
    #13
  14. Eddy Alvarez

    Eddy Alvarez Motorcycle ADD Supporter

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    To replace the front headlight bulb on a Honda NT700V, you need a whole Saturday or Sunday free as you must spend hours removing ALL of the bodywork except the topcase! All that work just to replace one stupid bulb! :loco
    To simply replace the rear tire on the same bike, you will spend THREE HOURS removing the muffler and rear fender! Wouldn't that be great fun on the side of the road!
    Don't believe for a second that any new bike from Japan is as easy to work on as an old XR100. If you want easy, go buy a Sportster!
    #14
  15. ta-rider

    ta-rider Returned from Africa

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    #15
  16. sarathmenon

    sarathmenon Armchair Adventurer

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    Well, I think it's still a worthy tradeoff. The air filter is a pain to get to, but the other items shrouded under the body work are maintenance that you do once every 2-3 years (except maybe checking valve clearance). Things that I love about this bike:

    1) Brake pad changes, front and rear are ridiculously easy.
    2) Oil changes are too easy.
    3) Removing the wheels are also easy enough, and I for one like the BMW style chain adjusters.
    4) No hard to reach areas while bleeding brakes.
    5) The radiator is easy to refill

    etc... Basically, the stuff that I might end up doing often is convenient and accessible compared to most other bikes out there. Sure, there are areas of improvement, but once you get the hang of it, it's overall a very liveable bike. There is plenty of space around most corners of the bike to shove a ratchet in, and most bolts and attachment points are very well though out.

    Now, the people who had to change their fuel pumps every often might have a different opinion. That, for one is a bitch to get to :lol3
    #16
  17. casperghst42

    casperghst42 Been here awhile

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    You obviously never did it on a TA or AT :rofl
    #17
  18. SubAtomicGenius

    SubAtomicGenius Moto Villian

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    Maybe a BMW engineer caught a motorcycle mechanic packing his wife...
    #18
  19. tonusmaximus

    tonusmaximus maximus Supporter

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    Is so the stealers can put more money in their coffers. $35 in parts and $200 labor
    #19
  20. KenCM

    KenCM Been here awhile

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    Don't blame the engineers - blame the customers. The engineers do what the manufacturer tells them to and the manufacturer tells them to do what will sell the most bikes.

    A "good" engineer as defined by their employers and peers is one who is effective at optimizing certain design criteria at the expense of others.

    "Maintainability" is undoubtedly high on their list of optimizations. "Easy maintainability" is almost certainly not.

    While mechanics might believe that ease of maintainability is a vitally important optimization, market forces dictate that consumers' desires win out.

    Cost, looks, performance, manufacturability, safety, and durability are almost certainly well ahead of easy maintainability.

    A good way to consider the importance of easy maintainability to the manufacturer (and therefore, to the engineers in their employ) is to consider the number of customers that tell the dealer "before I purchase this bike, please show me how much work it is going to be for me to service it."

    I'm guessing that maybe one in a thousand or one in ten thousand ask that question before purchasing.
    #20